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SoCoder -> Blogs Home -> Blogs

Evil Roy Ferguso
Created : 13 August 2008
Edited : 19 September 2008
System : Mac


Trying one of these things

Just as an experiment, I'm going to keep a development diary for my current project, in hopes that having some kind of documentation of its existence will motivate me to eventually finish the game, which is a random dungeon-crawling game, roughly in the vein of Rogue (hence the name), but early on I decided that I didn't really care for Rogue's "battle system," so it's using a sort of weird hybrid turn-based / strategy battle system (similar to Lunar's) which launches when you come into contact with an enemy on the map screen (unlike Rogue, they keep moving even when you don't).

I've been working on it for an hour or so each day since last Thursday (except Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when I was at my fiancé's), and the approximate timeline so far has been as follows:

Thursday night: Random dungeon generation code created.
Friday morning: Fixed the damned bug with rooms appearing off in the void of space, unconnected to other rooms.
Sunday night: Now you can explore the dungeon "in person."
Added stairs between floors and dowsing for buried gold.
Monday: Added monster(s) (only "Economy Corpses" right now). Implemented the basic movement in the battle system. Implemented the element system.
Tuesday: Added saving/loading games. (Easy, thanks to having written PickleDungeon() early on.) Monsters killed do not regenerate when reentering a floor.

The to-do list is as of yet very large, but the most pressing concerns to me are as follows:
- Fix a bug concerning stairs that, somehow, lead both up and down simultaneously. Done!
- Integrate battle system into the main game. Done!
- Implement better menus. Done!
- Implement monster behaviors other than "flit." (Now they can chase you too.)
- Skills / items. Items are in, still need to do equipment and the like.
- Make the dungeon generator less door-happy. It currently just creates doors wherever two connection rooms join, which can be in multiple places and things. D:
- Add "unusually shaped rooms" (IE, rooms that are connected to one another via "union" instead of a "door.")

The game currently suffers from the dreaded "Progammer Art," but I'll post some screenshots of how stuff works or doesn't work later, probably.

I'll update this thing ocasionally to keep myself motivated.



Wednesday, 13 August 2008, 14:52
Sounds like fun..

If your sprites are small enough I could manage to draw a couple of bits and pieces. Otherwise, my skill diminishes as the resolution increases

If it's 2x2 pixel monsters, I'm your man!!
Saturday, 16 August 2008, 08:39
Sounds really cool! I'm looking forward to playing a demo (which means now you have to finish )
Saturday, 16 August 2008, 16:08
Evil Roy Ferguso
Thank you for the comments.

Jayenkai, I appreciate the offer. I may take you up it, but I have a bad track record for finishing projects, so I'm going to wait until fairly late in development to make it pretty. :x The game currently runs at 800x600, but I don't have any particular emotional attachment to the resolution.

Instinct, now the pressure is on me. D:

Anyway, entry.

I had been developing the battle system on another computer, separately from the main game, so that I wouldn't get bored of always doing the same thing. When your attention span is as short as mine, this is very important.

Took a few days off since I had a big exam, but today I integrated that battle system into the main game -- it was painless, luckily. You can see enemies on the map, and selectively flee/engage them.

Next up is "real" items or skills or status ailments, one of those three. I also eventually want to replace the zombies with pudding, but that is a story for another day.

Unexciting Programmer-Art/RPG-Maker Sprite ( ) Screenshots:

Just walking around teh dunjun. Oh, it's a zombie!

Remember how in "Dragon Warrior" you had to select a verb from a menu for everything? I haven't gone *that* far (note the lack of a "Stairs" verb), but there is a verb menu.

Let's zombies fighting!

The battle system is somewhat similar to a cross between Final Fantasy's "Active Time Battles," and a strategy RPG where your unit's position actually matters. When it's your unit's turn to attack, it can move a number of squares determined by its "Range" stat. Your turn ends when you have walked the maximum number of squares, defended, used an item/spell, or attacked a monster (by walking into it for a melee attack, or by using a to-be-implemented button for projectile attacks.) You can also wait for another of your units to ready itself for attack, and then switch between ready units. This allows a primitive form of combo-ing: hitting an enemy causes "stun," so if you have several of your characters waiting to attack it, and time your intervals well, you can keep pummeling on it and it will be unable to respond. Skills / items will be selectable with either the mouse or the keyboard, and hovering over an enemy / one of your own units shows a 'tooltip' with its remaining life, elemental alignment, and so on.

The damage shown shows the physical portion of damage in white, and the "elemental damage" in different colors. The element system works like this:

Fire (red) beats Wood and Metal, but heals Earth.
Earth (yellow) beats Fire and Water, but heals Metal.
Metal (gray) beats Wood and Earth, but heals Water.
Water (blue) beats Fire and Metal, but heals Wood.
Wood (green) beats Earth and Water, but heals Fire.
Physical/neutral (white/clear) beats nothing and heals nothing.

Originally, there was an 'insult cycle,' where attacking against the flow would have less effect OR more effect, randomly (but much more often the former), and an 'identity cycle,' where elements did half damage against themselves, but I decided that those overcomplicated things.

Todo: huge list D:

[ETA] August 20, 2008

Since last update:

- (Some) character classes implemented.
- Levelling implemented, but it's rather unbalanced.
- (Some) spells implemented. Targeting types implemented: charge, row, square (or target single unit), and projectile.
- Now you can run away from battles. (Move your units off the right side of the battlefield.)
- Various other battle improvements.
- Elemental bonus damage is now computed based on Attack, rather than Level. (Neutral melee attacks do 100% of damage physically, elemental melee attacks do 75% of damage physically and 25% elementally.)
- Replaced Zombies with Corn Golems instead of the previously planned Pudding. Zombies are just so overdone.
Saturday, 27 September 2008, 22:24
Evil Roy Ferguso
Okay, so it's been a while since I've updated. There has been incremental progress on Blogue between exams and things:

  • Items implemented, more or less.
    • Unidentified items have names like "viscous potion" or "fizzy potion" until their effects have been determined, after which time their names become more meaningful.
    • The inventory system is basically a direct rip-off of Earthbound's: party members each have their own separate inventory with a fairly limited capacity and can only use items from their own inventories.
    • Equippable items are not fully implemented yet, but in the final version, they will not count toward a character's item limit. I am considering making equipment / "key items" a separate inventory entirely.
    • Items and spells are sort of "scripted" -- very simplistically, though, based on the idea of "chained effects." Not really something the end user will see, though.
    • There will eventually be item storage: you'll be able to store items from anywhere, but it will cost money to retrieve them again. Alternately, you'll be able to drop items somewhere "safe" and then go back to retrieve them later. (Currently, though, all dropped items are immediately "stolen by a ferret.")
  • Character classes have also been mostly implemented and made much cleaner. Passive abilities are currently coded really stupidly so I'll be fixing them later, but your characters can be Knights, Healers, Mages, Thieves, Monks, or Rangers and change between them freely. Characters in a class receive bonuses in stats relevant to it until they change jobs, but a character's class affects which stats will permanently gain on level-up as well, so a character that levels as a knight for 5 levels and then becomes a healer will still be functional at their job, but have lower magic skills and higher physical skills than a character that leveled up as a healer all along.
    • Not really a change, but I'd like to note that for a brief period of time, monks looked like floating mullets because I forgot to unhide some layers in Charas.
  • Elemental system switched to the "classical elements" because it has been empirically demonstrated to me that the lack of a wind element is "kind of dumb."
  • The menu system is significantly sexier.
  • You can die if you try hard enough. Characters are no longer revived at the end of a battle; they instead remain "fainted."
  • Config files exist.